Vetkoek and mince: A South African family favourite for the holidays

If you’ve ever been to a South African family-owned shop, festivals and an Afrikaans family home, chances are you know exactly what vetkoek is. Directly translated to “fat cake”, these fried dough breads have a rich history in the country. There was even a very popular Afrikaans TV show about a shop for them. They are crunchy and golden on the outside with a variety of fillings with curry mince being the most well-known.

Vetkoek and mince serving suggestions

Everybody has a tasty curry mince recipe that goes perfectly well with vetkoek, often enjoyed on Christmas Eve. Other traditional toppings include butter and cheese. However, you can also go with a sweet topping like golden syrup with more butter for something super decadent.

For the best frying results, you want a shallow deep pot or Dutch oven and continuously spoon the oil over so that they cook from both sides. The outside should be crispy and golden with a light line along the sides just like doughnuts and be soft and airy on the inside.

The holidays are coming up and it’s time to prepare a feast. There’s but one where you can only make a lot and it’s with a vetkoek and mince recipe.

Last updated on 4 November 2022

food, vetkoek and mince: a south african family favourite for the holidays

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Vetkoek and mince recipe

5 from 2 votes Recipe by Irene Muller Course: LunchCuisine: GlobalDifficulty: Easy Servings


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    1 kg cake wheat flour

    3 tsp salt

    1 green packet of dry yeast

    600 ml lukewarm water




  • Add the salt and yeast to the flour and stir with one hand and then mix with the lukewarm water.
  • OR
  • Mix lukewarm water and yeast in a small bowl. Let stand until yeast softens and begins to bubble slightly about 5 minutes.
  • Sift flour and salt together in a large bowl.
  • Pour water over flour mixture, butter your hands and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic 5 to 7 minutes. If there are pieces of butter on your hands, just knead it in. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth, and let the dough rise in a warm corner until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes, make sure it has doubled enough in volume. (Watch VIDEO below)
  • *Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • When the dough is ready, knead it again, buttering your hands again, break a piece off, make a ball according to the size you want and quickly flatten. Fry flattened pieces of dough in the hot oil, 2 to 3 pieces at a time, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. When it feels light, you will know it is cooked.


  • TIP:  Spoon oil over the dough and cover with a lid, it just makes a difference.

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